What Do I Need to Start a Website?

Starting a Website

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So you’re considering building a website, but you’re new to this whole thing. You don’t even really know where to start. It can be easy to find yourself frozen before you get started if you don’t have a clear list of steps to guide you.

To help you out, here’s a step-by-step guide to what you need to start a website.

1. A Goal

If you’re at the stage of thinking about starting a website, you may already have a good start on this one (most people don’t start out wanting a website without having an idea of what it would be for). Nonetheless, before you go any further, really clarify for yourself what you want your website to accomplish.

If you’re starting a service-based business, the website should accurately communicate what you offer and why people should hire you. If you’re starting a product-based business, your goal is to get people to add those items to their shopping cart and check out. If you’re starting a blog to share your deep abiding love of spaghetti westerns, the goal could be as simple as finding a few like minds who enjoy reading your posts.

Whatever your particular goal, all the other steps laid out here can play a role in helping you achieve it, which makes it important that you figure this step out before going any further.

2. A Name

This deceptively simple step can be one of the hardest parts for many people. It doesn’t require a lot of tedious work, but it does require making a hard creative decision and it’s easy to get stuck at this step and have a hard time moving forward.

When choosing a name for your website, you have to think about more than just what sounds good. Part of your brainstorming process should be to look up available domain names as you go. You don’t necessarily have to register the exact domain as the name you want your website to have, but it will make it much easier for repeat visitors to find you again if the names match, so it’s worth trying to come up with something original that you can grab the .com domain for without having to use weird spellings.

You will almost certainly find this step difficult, but don’t let it take you forever. Give yourself a deadline and get it done. Having a name that’s not 100% perfect is better than not having a name or website at all.

3. Web Hosting

You can usually register your domain name and buy web hosting in one fell swoop, since most hosting plans include at least one domain name as part of the package (and sometimes more). Picking the right hosting plan can be a bit overwhelming, but a little basic information on how types of web hosting differ should give you a pretty clear idea of what to go with.

If you’re just starting out and your website will be on the smaller side without a devoted following, an affordable shared plan will probably work just fine and you can get one for just a few bucks a month.

4. A Design

Every website you see on the web has a basic web design that someone had to create. When a website’s design is intuitive and doing its job, you don’t necessarily think much about it, but that’s because someone else did the thinking for you during the design process to make sure the site easily meets visitor needs.

You’ve got a few options to design your website. You can hire someone that’s experienced in web design to build you something unique that suits your needs. You can use a website builder to build it yourself using templates and an intuitive design interface. Or you can try to learn web design yourself and build a website from scratch. Be warned that the latter option won’t be easy if you don’t have prior experience (and really isn’t necessary in this era of easy-to-use website builders), but if web design is a skillset you’d like to have, building your first website is good practice.

5. Content

As with web design, you probably never put much thought into the work that goes into crafting all the words on the pages of websites you visit. But someone put that time and work in and it’s a step you have to take as well.

This is another step where it may be worth hiring a professional to help you out, especially if your website’s goal is to sell something. Professional website copywriters know how to develop positioning for businesses and figure out the language most likely to drive visitors to action. And if writing’s not your forte, you’ll probably spend lots of time and mental energy on worse results than if you hired someone who really knows what they’re doing.

If you decide to write the content yourself, take some time to read up on online copywriting best practices. Websites like Copyblogger and Copyhackers can provide some tips to help you learn the ropes.

6. Digital Marketing Plan

You may have thought creating your website was the hard part (and it’s not easy), but once your website launches you’ll quickly realize how hard it can be to get people to check it out. For that, you need online marketing.

Consider the types of online marketing tactics that make the most sense for your website and work up a plan to help raise awareness of your website and drive traffic your way. No one will buy your products or read your content without being able to find your website first.  To achieve the goal you established in step one, you’ll need to commit to ongoing marketing efforts that bring your audience to you.

7. Google Analytics

One of the most valuable tools every website owner needs is conveniently entirely free. Setting up Google Analytics is easy and one of the first things you should do once your website is ready to launch. The tool provides rich insights into how many people are coming to your website, how they found you, whether they came back again, and who they are (demographically speaking).

The information you get from Google Analytics will tell you if your marketing is working and which tactics are working best. It will let you know which types of visitors are most likely to take action like a purchase or email signup, and which are most likely to leave the site within a few seconds without ever coming back. It will guide you in the types of changes you should make to your website and marketing efforts over time to better achieve your overarching goal.

Building a website comes with its challenges, but once you know the basic steps you need to take it’s easier to work out a plan to move forward. Once it’s up and running you’ll face a whole new set of challenges, of course, but it’s rewarding to see your traffic grow and your website take off.  If you’ve been waiting to get started because you don’t know what to do, just take it one step at a time and get it done. Good luck!

If you need a hand we can get together using Zoom video conferencing software. It’s easy to use and free. We can share screens too. Go here for details

32 Reasons to Blog

If you are already convinced and want to start a blog, go here!

Blogging is great fun and here are 32 good reasons to blog. I have never earned any money from blogging and I don’t expect to. I blog because it gives me a voice on the Internet. I have over 5k subscribers. It is very creative I design my blog and it pleases me. It is not difficult and provides you with a permanent record. Also it is free. You can be up and running in 30 minutes. Read the 34 reasons. Not all will apply but you have good solid reasons to start a blog.

Here are the first 5 reasons to blog:

1. It helps you learn new things

Blogging is about sharing what you see, or want to see, in the world. It’s about teaching or sharing what you know and what you, too, are learning. When you start a blog, you’ll find yourself always learning new things about your areas of interest so you can keep sharing without running dry of ideas.

Think of it this way: when you set out to wash clothes, your objective is to clean the clothes, not your hands, but it’s your hands which become clean first.

2. It makes you think clearer

The ability to think clearly and generate ideas is one of life’s most critical skills, yet one of the things you don’t get taught in school. Blogging fills that void, helping you grow your thinking muscles exponentially.

You’ll learn to reflect deeply on your life, your relationships and your society; engage with others intellectually, appreciate the strengths in arguments and point out the flaws in them; appreciate the tiny distinctions between what, why and how; the nexus and disparity between excuses and justifications, and so on.

3. It helps you write better

Many things have boosted my writing proficiency over the years: essay contests, tapping from mentors, reading books, etc. But none of them has challenged me so consistently as blogging.

Here’s why: writing mastery comes with constant practice and blogging is just about that. In his epic book, On Writing, Stephen King discusses how once he didn’t write for several weeks due to an accident, and how when he started to write again, his words weren’t flowing well.

That’s how inconsistency weakens your writing muscle, and that’s why blogging, which keeps you writing regularly, helps you write better.

4. It builds your confidence

I used to be a timid introvert. Until I started blogging.

Blogging helps you learn to voice your opinions, dare to be wrong and stop being so scared to make mistakes. With blogging, you learn to recognize and build your strength, and also admit and improve on your weaknesses. With conversations happening on your blog, you learn to hear flattery without being carried away and take criticisms without losing your cool.

5. It helps you speak more coherently

A great speech starts with a sound script. The more you learn and share ideas about your areas of interests on your blog, the more comfortable you get discussing them verbally.

And over time, you grow confidence to face an audience and manage your nervousness on your subjects of interest. Soon, this diffuses to other verbal conversations.

Convinced? And want to start a blog, go here! 

 

From Little Acorns

Posts are not organised in correct date order as I want the first three posts to be top. So I have rearranged them. Go to Recent Posts in the sidebar to view posts.

There is a PowerPoint presentation here a video of it is at the end of this page.

From little acorns mighty oaks do grow. There’s talk within the community of older citizens being lonely and isolated. So I thought to myself as you (us, I’m 67) are a great resource in both knowledge and experience I would encourage them to blog. So I have set up OlderCitizens.wordpress.com which contains tutorials for getting started. The overall site (in progress) which I will use as a directory will be http://OlderCitizens.com which seems to be an inoffensive name. Know any older citizens? Get them to get in touch.

Anyway the plan is for me to contact as many older citizen groups that I can, initially in Ireland (I know how to do this) and take it from there. I’ll set up (countryname).OlderCitizens.com so Ireland will be http://Ireland.OlderCitizens.com, that should work , do a map as well. In fact create a network. We can be global.

If you are an older citizen and have a blog please let me know (any country)

Philip@OlderCitizens.com

Or Skype: dude.starship smiles there is only one (Philip Finlay Bryan, Tullamore)

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I’m in Tullamore Co.Offaly, Ireland – Mobile: +353 (0)894297539

Do not go gentle into that good night..

Here is a video of the PowerPoint presentation I am using to promote the site :


And there you have it. Keep coming back as i should be updating soon!

Leave a comment please……

Research (1)

Here are a few documents I have found so far with help from a Fellow or two from The RSA Getting Older Citizens to blog may not be as easy as I thought and I need help. One of my goals is to try and muster a team from The RSA to assist. Perhaps we can publish a paper? Unfortunately f2f will not be easy for me but with the help of the forum I may not need to. However I am learning lots and enjoying this immensly.

“The latest stats show that in 2010, around one in four of the working age population was aged 50 and over, and this is projected to increase to one in three by 2022” Damian Hinds (DWP).

Older Citizens need a voice and that can be through a blog. If you have come to this site to learn about how to blog go here.


Abstract  from a study of digital literacy in the older population. 

https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/article/69/9/1117/575499/English-Longitudinal-Study-of-Aging-Can-Internet-E

Background.

Cognitive decline is a major risk factor for disability, dementia, and death. The use of Internet/E-mail, also known as digital literacy, might decrease dementia incidence among the older population. The aim was to investigate whether digital literacy might be associated with decreased cognitive decline in older adulthood.

Methods.

Data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging cohort with 6,442 participants aged 50–89 years, followed for 8 years, with baseline cognitive testing and four additional time points. The main outcome variable was the relative percentage change in delayed recall from a 10-word-list learning task across five separate measurement points. In addition to digital literacy, socioeconomic variables, including wealth and education, comorbidities, and baseline cognitive function were included in predictive models. The analysis used Generalized Estimating Equations.

Results.

Higher education, no functional impairment, fewer depressive symptoms, no diabetes, and Internet/E-mail use predicted better performance in delayed recall.

Conclusions.

Digital literacy may help reduce cognitive decline among persons aged between 50 and 89 years.

Digital literacy is defined as being able to navigate the Internet and use email.


Internet Users in the UK 2016 by Philip Finlay-Bryan on Scribd

 

Below is the data from Pew on Internet usage in the USA.

http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/04/03/older-adults-and-technology-use/

Run your mouse over the charts to view date


Media literacy and digital exclusion in older people

Media literacy, digital exclusion and older people uploaded by  Philip Finlay-Bryan on Scribd


And worth reading is:

Doctor Know a Knowledge Commons in Health uploaded by  Philip Finlay-Bryan on Scribd

 


 Harvard Health Blog – Learning a new skill  can slow cognitive ageing.

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/learning-new-skill-can-slow-cognitive-aging-201604279502

“Active aging involves more than moving your body. You also need to move your brain. “When you exercise, you engage your muscles to help improve overall health,” says Dr. Ipsit Vahia, director of geriatric outpatient services for Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital. “The same concept applies to the brain. You need to exercise it with new challenges to keep it healthy.”


The burning question (s)  is how to contact older citizens and get them to a level of digital literacy where they can blog.